The row between the Government and opposition over the use of millions of euro in public money on electronic voting machines continued in the Dáil today.

Minister for Defence, Michael Smith, who was standing in for the Taoiseach, insisted the money had not been wasted.

Mr Smith also withdrew a comment he made about socialist deputy Joe Higgins.

The Ceann Comhairle had to intervene on a number of occasions to ask deputies to stop roaring and shouting.

Meanwhile, the British television station, E4, has admitted that it ran an advertisment about electronic voting last night in error, having been told last Friday that the advertising campaign had been concluded.

The matter was raised in the Dáil this afternoon by Labour leader Pat Rabbitte, who said the advertisment had run after Friends on E4.

The Department of the Environment has said E4 had admitted it ran the advertisment inadvertently.

Mr Rabbitte also asked Mr Smith if the shareholders of any private company would persist with the same board of directors when a manager of that company had lost €52m.

Mr Smith insisted the money in question was invested over a period of 20 years.